MP4-12C does not quite roll of the tongue but if you are a fan of the Woking F1 team built by Ron Dennis you will immediately recognize the naming scheme.
Mclaren has a lot to live up to, over 10 years after its introduction, the Mclaren F1 is unsurpassed in it's uncompromised excellence while the Mercedes Mclaren SLR is driven by Donald Trump... Which way will the new car swing?
We won't have to wait too long to find out, The Times reports the car will be launched on Wednesday (ahead of the Ferrari 458 Italia launch) and gives a few details in advance: Carbon Fiber Chassis, V8, 7 speed gearbox, dihedral doors. The suspension will automatically adjust its stiffness according to speed which should make Jeremy Clarkson happy and the car will have wireless internet capabilities.
Design is by Frank Stephenson who penned icons such as the Mini when at BMW, the F430 and the new 500 when at the Fiat Group, "It has an iconic design, like the E-type Jaguar and, on all performance parameters and price, will be better than our competition,”
"It’s bound to disappoint,’ Mclaren F1's designer Gordon Murray has expressed some skepticism ’‘There’s no point in trying to outdo the F1, they’ll never do it. The world has moved on and anyone who thinks the market for Gallardo-type cars is going to bounce back to levels of two or three years ago is dreaming... ‘From what I’ve heard, McLaren has gone back to producing a big car with a heavy engine. People will inevitably see it as a successor to the F1 but I can’t see any way in which people aren’t going to be disappointed. They’ve just taken the wrong route for it. That’s a shame.’ (car)
Ron Dennis begs to differ and believes the market for high end supercars is healthy enough to warrant plans for two further models over the next few years: a Porsche 911 competitor at one end and an Enzo, Murcielago, Carrera GT alternative at the other. The production targets are of 1000 cars per year with the first model and 4000 when the other models are introduced.
(picture is an artist's impression -Meeson/hitandrunmedia.com)